Monday, 23 January 2017

Emily agrees with Nick

Writing in The Evening Standard, Emily Maitlis talks about the Orwellian language used by President Trump's press secretary ("George Orwell’s Minitrue could not have put it better"). And she too calls the statements he defended "lies". She then makes the same point that James Cook and Nick Robinson made earlier:
But maybe the real question now is how those of us listening to the lies respond. So much centres around the question of “balance”. So weaponised, so overused. Thrown in our faces when we strive to say anything that reaches past a seesaw of “yes and no”.   
Of course the natural instinct is to report the statement in its entirety  — then reach to the other side for reaction. But that doesn’t work when you are the other side: something as amorphous as the media itself. Nor should it have to work, when a statement is so easily, demonstrably untrue. Our priority, uncomfortable as it sounds, is not one of balance but of fairness. We are not being fair to our readers or our viewers if we know something to be untrue and we simply fail to say it. 


  1. Oddly, Emily Maitlis doesn't quote the "lie" she so deplores.

    Let's be clear. Spicer's first complaint was the Time journalist's false claim that Trump had removed the MLK bust from the Oval Office. Typically, the BBC have not even addressed that issue.

    Spicer claims the MSM used photographs which were deliberately framed to minimise the extent of attendance. Of that I don't think there can be any doubt. He also references grass protection and I think the large marquees (not there in 2009) which affected the visuals and impeded the progress of peopel moving into the area. Whether that's baloney or not I haven't heard Maitlis or anyone else refute that.

    He certainly does produce a photo from the inaugural stand which seems to suggest the photo widely used by the MSM and BBC was misleading.

    He then goes on to claim that Trump's inaugural address had the biggest ever global audience - very likely I think.

    He then references some facts about the enthisiasm of the CIA employees' reception for Trump.

    He then told the Press the Administration would hold the Press accountable for their statements as much as the Press held the Administration accountable.

    So come on Emily - where was the lie? What was the lie? Do tell us.

    I think it's pretty clear the media simply hate Trump and his allies for daring to challenge their right to construct the narrative.

    Remember the BBC have constructed numerous false narratives including:

    1. Calais had lots of unaccompanied child refugees and the young men looking like they were aged 18-25 were all under 18.

    2. Most of the huge wave of migrants in 2015 were families, with lots of women and children and were Syrian.

    3. Germans were enthusiastically welcoming undocumented migrants in 2015.

    4. 9 out of 10 voters in the EU Referendum supported Remain (Newsnight Panel).

    5. Trump had no policies.

  2. Emily's article exactly encapsulates the way of BBC thinking. It is, as she clearly states, NOT to deliver "balance" and let us, the listeners use our critical facilities to decide what to believe, what is fair. No, no, the people are too stupid and uneducated to make a judgement ... evidenced by the people being taken in by populists and voting for Brexit and Trump.

    In Emily's view, it is the BBC that should decide what is "fair" and what is a fact and instruct us.

    Sorry Ems luv, we've all left school and are quite capable of tajing in many viewpoints, facts, figures, forecasts, lies even and then testing against our own experience making up our own minds. If the BBC continues on your recommended path it will have even fewer listeners and certainly less license fee payers.

  3. I'm intrigued by this TBH I initially thought that it may have been Trumps team that were lying but now I'm not so sure based on the above.

    What I need is BBC reality check.

    I'm sure that will be impartial - ho ho ho

    1. I noticed when ITV (just as bad as BBC when it comes to Trump and Brexit) reported on this, they truncated Spicer's sentence so it consisted of a few words: something like "the greatest audience ever" - and left out the important qualifying phrase about (I paraphrase) "here and around the globe".

    2. Spicer confirmed at today's press conference that what he had said and meant was as I suggested. He was not saying it was a bigger in situ audience. This is how he explained it:

      “I am not. I am saying it was the total largest audience witnessed in person and around the globe.”

      And that reflects his exact words at the press address the other day.

      So if anyone is guilty of lying and fake news it's the usual suspects: CNN and BBC and, in particular, Emily Maitlis and Nick Robinson.

  4. All the lies from Obama and Hillary went either unremarked or actively promoted as truth by the media and BBC. Now they are suddenly holding the President to account over @$%T%ing crowd size? Sorry, no.


      But this picture (from CNN) - not featured on BBC or ITV as far as I know - gives a very different impression to the "white space" photo taken a full 45 mins before the ceremony began, the one that has been used extensively by the anti-Trump media.

    2. To be honest, I don't see that as making a huge difference. The place would have been packed already if the crowd was going to be over a million or whatever.

  5. You can imagine the conversation, can't you, between Nick Robinson (left wing Tory) and Ken Clarke MP (lifelong left wing Tory).

    NICK: Hi Ken we'd like to feature you in Tuesday's Today programme on the upcoming Supreme Court judgement.

    KEN: Oh that's nice. I hope I won't be on with any Nigel Farage I hope, though wouldn't mind having a pop at his successor, that terrible little oik Nuttall.

    NICK: No nothing like that. Pre-recorded. There won't be any strong Leave voices. You'll be centrepiece and we'll give you plenty of time to expand on things. More of a leather sofa conversation, than an interview.

    KEN: Sounds marvellous old boy. Well I can guarantee you I will, in the politest terms, stick it to the Brexiteers.

    NICK: Excellent!

    1. That's probably a longer discussion than they needed to set it all up, both already being on the same page and everybody knowing what Clarke will say every time.

  6. Emily seems to have seen the writing on the wall and gone full Black Maria (views her own)